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Retail Focus - Free-From

Julie Goodwin, owner of Natural Health, shares her tips for success when it comes to selling free-from foods

I first took over Natural Health back in 1997, and the free-from market has definitely had its ups and downs between then and now.

To begin with, we had an entire bay selling free-from foods. Supermarkets didn’t sell these products, so if customers had coeliac disease or sensitivity to dairy products, gluten or wheat, a health food store was their first port of call. In those days, gluten-free products were our biggest sellers. But then in the late nineties and early noughties, it became more and more common for supermarkets to stock dairy-free and gluten-free foods, so our sales dropped dramatically. We discontinued lots and lots of products and ranges, because they just weren’t making any money for us.

Now, sales in free-from foods are really picking up again. Supermarkets seem to be selling fewer of these kinds of products, and I’m not sure why that is, because they are just as popular as ever, if not more so. But it’s good for us, as people are coming in to buy from us again. In addition, there are lots of new foods coming onto the market all the time, so it’s definitely a growing market.

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